Serena Holds Hand Up in Tiebreak, Says She’s Not Like Justine [Video]
by Tom Gainey | May 8th, 2010, 9:23 am
  • 27 Comments

A recap for tennis fans who missed Friday’s eventful Rome semifinal between Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic.

The pair played their way to a third set tiebreaker. With Serena serving at 2-0 she hit an ace. Jankovic complained to the chair that she wasn’t ready but the umpire sided with Serena. Point to Serena for 3-0.

Minutes later down 3-5, a Jankovic serve was disallowed because Serena had stopped play. Unlike Jelena, Serena clearly did have a hand up before Jelena served and the umpire sided with Serena. Right call I think, although there’s certainly a hint of gamesmanship from Serena.

Jelena argued but lost the battle. She did, however, win next four points to take the match.

But the controversy didn’t stop there. As the two shook hands at the net, Serena apologized to Jelena for stopping play and then told her what sounds to be “I’m not Justine you know what I mean”.

Serena is referencing the infamous 2003 French Open semifinal whence Justin Henin held up her hand to stop play during a Serena serve. The umpire never saw Henin’s hand go up so the missed serve stood. After Serena argued a timeout was called the chair asked Henin but the Belgian kept mum.

Judge for yourself. Does Serena really take a swipe at Justine?


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27 Comments for Serena Holds Hand Up in Tiebreak, Says She’s Not Like Justine [Video]

jane Says:

With my headphones on, it sounds like she did. Hmmm. At least she was kind to Jelena at the net who really held her composure to win that match.


ash Says:

everyone is making this out like its a big thing and that serena cheated but like come on… it was clearly a misunderstanding.
these two have a lot of respect for each other and it shows coz serena apologised, just like she did at the 08 US Open after she won, she apologised to jelena for overreacting when she had won.
serena gave this match away, she produced too many errors but im glad to see that serena is moving better on clay than ive ever seen her since 2002. so look out for serena’s second french slam… it seems like she really had kept true to her word and has been practicing… unlike all the other years where she came in unfit and clearly relied on her mental toughness to get thru which does not work on clay because its slipperY and her shots do not produce that power they usually have… CONGRATS JELENA.


Thanks Says:

arrogant sisters..happy that JJ kicked their butt ..


clb Says:

I am so glad Serena lost. She has absolutely no class, even as she gets older. I am from the USA, but would rather root for JJ or Justine any day over Serena. I cannot stand her attitude, and she should have been suspended for a season for threatening to ram a ball down the throat of a line judge. Grow up, Serena! Oh, nevermind..you will never learn. Just keep embarrassing Americans. That is what you are really good at.


Jason Says:

7 years after and Serena hasn’t truly put that incident with Justine behind her. She’s dragging Justine into this story so people will talk about it rather than her loss to Jelena. Smart girl but such a big loser….


Jason Says:

and yeah… she’s right, she’s not Justine… she’s losing on clay… hahaha


Ty Says:

you know what,Serena is not always the most gracious , i will concede that. But putting her hand up was not wrong, and she was gracious in defeat. So many times Justine was cold and unsportmanslike and yes, she CHEATED, but thats ok. Its easier to just say Serena this or Serena that. The reality is that Justine cheated,and i realized that if you are Justine Henin, that is ok. But if that had been Serena doing, most of you would STILL be talking about it .Serena did not want to be accused of doing what Justine did , which is why she said it. Its easy to point out the TRUTH when it comes to Serena, but lets throw that weight all the way around shall we? At the risk of being criticized, I am a fan of BOTH Serena and Justine, as well as Jelena, and I wish ALL three of them well in Madrid and Roland Garros. Gasp!!


Ty Says:

Furthermore, please stop lumping Venus in whenever you want to sling mud at Serena . They are sisters, but NOT the same person. Venus is lauded as being one of the most gracious people to play the game, by players present and future. If you want to pull out Serena’s mistakes, you have the floor. But it is insulting and denegrating to Venus’legacy to accuse of being “arrogant” as one of you said when Venus is anything but. You know what I love – no matter how many things some detractors find to criticize them about, they are still playing when many of their colleagues retired and still at the top. So keep trash-talking them- they will just keep playing and you will probably find another reason to criticize them. Good day


Skorocel Says:

“I’m not Justine you know what I mean”

LOL Serena! :-)


Jason Says:

@Ty – totally agree, Venus has more class than her sister. She should advise her to have more respect for other players.


Root Says:

Lets go back to the French open,Justine/Serena,
if Serena saw that Justine had her hand up,then why did she still serve the ball,she served into the net then complained,what would she have done had she served an ace,would she have asked to serve it over. I doubt it,one point does not win a match,unless its in a tie breaker in the 3rd set.
Serena is a sore loser,has always been a sore loser,has never given credit where credit is due.


Dusan Says:

i am serbian and of course – i support jj and ana ivanovic. but, serena is the best female tennis player, better than henin. why shouldnt she say st like that? everyone who isnt all for fair play should be denounced.
remember that notorious hingis serve against graff? despicable


clb Says:

Root… you nailed it! I watched that so-called cheating incident with Justine. The crowd was loud, Serena mentioned to the chair umpire that Justine had her hand up, then when the chair said she did not see it, Serena quickly served again. No one even asked Justine. Serena simply played on. I dont think Justine could even hear what Serena was saying to the chair. …and now, for Serena to bring that up again years later when she shows how much of a poor sport she is anytime she loses and cant credit the other player (“lucky shots”).. what a total sore loser she is, as usual. Her parents apparently never taught her what class is. Thats for sure.


Rsutherland Says:

Yeah! The Justine – cheating affair has resurfaced!
I think Serena has a lot to learn from her older sister in terms of class, however…
If I have to choose who is worse; someone who threatens to murder someone (a lines person) or a cheater, I’d have to go with the cheater.


Rsutherland Says:

She has had ample opportunity to explain herself. Maybe I missed that part. There has been way too much ado about this for her to simply dismiss it.
Serena is a bad sport with a foul mouth contrary to her religion – a pox on both their houses – but a few other plagues go to JH….


edrina Says:

Oh I get it. Justine is forgiven for all her indiscretions but serena, never! Come on folks face up to it and name it for what it is.


Karly Says:

I watched the match in 2003, this article repeats a common lie, that JUustine as “asked” about holding up her hand and then “lied” she was never asked about it on the court, the umpire never even acted like he should ask, he just dealt with Serena, not Justine. And Serena did EXACTLY what Justine did, but even later in the serve motion, which makes it seem deliberate. Serena is pitiful sometimes, the comment “I’m not Justine” to shift negative attention to Justine instead of herself, how typical of Serena. She’s a very immature and sneaky person. Leave it to the media to treat Justine like crap for seven years over nothing just because Serena Williams makes a huge deal over it, yet then SErena Williams does the same thing to another player and mark my words, nothing will be said about it by any ESPN commentator, instead they will continue to feed us this garbage about “what a gracious competitor Serena Willams is”… they will blame Jankovic for “serving to fast” even though the ruls state you must receive at the speed of the server. What a bunch of hogwash. They drag what should have been a non incident with Justine up for seven freaking years, and will keep on dragging it up, and Serena williams as always, will get a free pass from our sycophants in the commentating box. Serena had to nearly assault somebody on center court for them to finally admit SOMETHING she did was wrong. But she is forgiven as always, if any other player had done that, forget it, it’s all we would hear for the next twenty years at every match they played


Jason Says:

@Karly…. well said… american tennis commentators are so one-sided about serena. they think she’s a gift to the tennis world but in fact she’s a disgrace to the game…


Karly Says:

Disgrace to the game is strong, but Serena has certainly been a less than stellar sport as a tennis player. In fact she’s been embarrassingly obnoxious in multiple ways and incredibly petulant at times and nasty and haughty to her peers in the game for years, but our American pundits seem to think that’s okay when she does it. Whatever… What she really needs is a good hard spanking, something she probably never got as a child, but someday she’ll get spanked in some form, because what goes around comes around.


Ty Says:

I am a Serena fan, but i will say that in spite of her lack of graciousness at times, she has to work at being nice to other players. I see her at times making an effort to be nice, because she is not naturally good at it. I am not excusing it,but while it comes to Venus naturally, it is not so natural for Serena . But when it comes down to it, she is one of the most amazing tennis players to ever play the game and thats what i look at it. It has to come to that. Justine has worked on her attitude very much as well, which i commend her for as she was not always so nice either. At the end of the day,these people are athletes, not role models, and i focus on that .


Jason Says:

@Ty, i would have to disagree with you this time. These athletes are role models for most people especially the young ones who look up to them because they are good at what they do.
and because they are public figures, their actions are magnified a hundred times so it is their responsibilities to maintain a good image all the time.
if serena can’t be nice to other people because she’s just naturally nice, then what she can do is just refrain from saying bad about other people. that alone should be enough


Ty Says:

@ Jason, i agree with your point.
Let me explain what i meant before. I do believe that you do have a responsibility to be the best that you can be when you are such a public persona. Unfortunately, most athletes are not really focusing on that . And yes, as a fan, I think that Serena should just sometimes say nothing if its going to cause her most controversy. I think that somewhere along the line, she accepted that her mouth is going to be polarizing sometimes and she does not mind. Its not a philosophy that i would choose, and i do wish that she were more like Venus, as it would not cast a shadow sometimes over her incredible achievements. I truly think that Venus got her mothers personality and unfortunately, Serena got more from her dad lol


Von Says:

And, the Serena bashing goes on !!


Desirai Says:

Serena doesn’t have the best attitude, but so what. Many of you on here have terrible attitudes and are only too willing to take a swipe at Serena. Why do you expect her to be a better person than you? Is it because she is rich or is it because she is black? She is entitled to her funky attitude just like you are entitled to yours. Being black in a white sport does not exactly always give one a great attitude. As a matter of fact it is a recipe for a really bad attitude when you factor in all the s#$t you have to deal with day in and day out. If I was her, I would never smile and I would talk S%$t all the time. Cause yall would get on my GD nerves. In many ways she is actually nice cause she will put on that fake smile and grin and bear it when people are giving her grief and that is more than I would do.


Lisa Says:

I like Serena just the way she is…I’ll spend money to see her…watch on TV when possible…I have Tennis TV, The Tennis Channel and FSN on Direct TV to get coverage of Miami. She doesn’t need to change a thing. What are you gonna do:>)
Take her 12 Grand SLAMS BACK LOL!!!!!! BTW Justine is a cheater. Her and her coach…she is pitiful.


Blarfingar Says:

To the OP that wrote “arrogant sisters”

Sounds like you have a problem because only Serena was playing in this match.

Arrogance is cheating. Which is Justine.

But I guess you probably think all “sistahs” are arrogant, huh?

Good think trash like you doesn’t count in life. Unless your life is the tea party.

Scumbag. Just like Root Rot and the rest of you.


Justineforever Says:

How do we call when Serena called Justine a “b***h.” Or when she threatened that line judge? “To kill, to put the tennis ball into the troath?” How did she treated the other opponents? How she mocked Safina, whatever is the way Safina plays? What’s that? We can make thousands of exemples of Serena being “classy”…Serena just could never accepted that “little” Henin’s technique is equal to equal to all her force… ALLEZ, JUSTINE! MAKE THEM CRY! AGAIN! :))))))))))))

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